It’s the spookiest time of year, and that means that kids (and let’s be honest, adults too) will be eating a whole lot of sweets in the coming week. Halloween means trick-or-treating for sugary treats, not to mention work and school parties. And while we’d like to think everyone will be doing their teeth a favor by avoiding candy altogether, we know that’s wishful thinking on our part. But we’re here to tell you that not all candy is created equal; in fact, some are much worse for your teeth than others.
Sugar Free Hard Candies: If you love to suck on candy, you probably already know that this is a great way to do some serious damage to your teeth. Prolonged sucking on sugary candy can lead to tooth decay and tarter buildup. That said, sucking on sugar-free hard candies, particularly those sweetened with xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, can actually be good for your teeth. Xylitol is known for its protective effect on teeth.
Sugar Free Gum: Want to do the neighborhood kids a favor? Give away sugar-free gum. Gum can help protect teeth by assisting in dislodging food particles and acting as a cleaning agent. And if there’s no sugar in the gum, you’re golden!
Dark Chocolate: Most Halloween chocolate is chock-full of sugar, but dark chocolate has a lower sugar content, and it’s been proven to provide important, heart-protecting antioxidants. Of course, moderation is essential because even dark chocolate contains some sugar and a lot of fat.
Chewy and Sticky Candy: If you’ve got a penchant for taffy, or gummy or chewy sugary candies, be aware: these aren’t doing you any favors. These high-sugar treats can easily get stuck between teeth and in the crevices, leading to tooth decay.
Sour Stuff: High levels of acid, like those in super sour candy, can actually break down your teeth enamel. While your saliva helps to restore your pH levels, it’s important to take care when eating sour; don’t brush your teeth within 30 minutes of eating acidic foods and beverages, because you’ll essentially be brushing the acid onto more surface area of the teeth.
Got a favorite candy? Tell us what it is!